Welcome to Nerd Nite SF, 3rd Wed. of every month!

Well, every month in normal times. Perhaps you would like to join our mailing list in the meantime?

By the way, we finally have our NNSF tees for sale on the website.

Bart and Lucy, Nerd Nite Emeriti + event update!

Hello nerds of San Francisco and beyond!

We have some news for you all as we emerge out of covid hibernation. Nerd Nite SF will return on third Wednesdays at Rickshaw Stop beginning next month, on July 21! More details and a ticket link to come, but in the meantime we’d like everyone to know of a sea change in our SF nerd herding team. After an epic decade of organizing one of the best ways to learn something new over a beer or two, Bart and Lucy are passing the baton. They’ve written the message below for all you beautiful people who have supported the program over the past 10 years. Read it and weep :’)

Farewell and Thank You from Bart and Lucy:
Remember how our desire for a bigger boat took us from a pleasure cruise around the bay to an aircraft carrier in Alameda to Alcatraz Island? Well, now the jolly tugboat of Nerd Nite SF is getting (drum roll) a new captain — and we are thrilled to hand the wheel to Maricela Abarca!

But before we jump ship, we would like to recognize the people who have made these 10+ years so wonderful.
To the Rickshaw Stop: Dan Strachota, Noah Kincade, and all the fine folk who keep the place humming and the booze flowing, you are the best! Literally no other venue in town can match you (yes, because we are nerds, we did extensive research). Here’s to 10 more years (at least) of NNSF on your hallowed stage. THANK YOU.

Alpha Bravo (aka Alexander Bailey), your museum-worthy poster designs and delightfully obscure themed DJ sets (on vinyl no less!) have exceeded all our hopes and dreams. This whole thing wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you. THANK YOU.

Joe Boyle, Bob Hermes, and Kevin Cressa, our videographers extraordinaire, jugglers of equipment, and capturers of angles, you have helped us document the amazing things that have happened on the NNSF stage and done so for the love of it—well, that and some free drinks. We admire your skill, generosity, enthusiasm, and all-around coolness. THANK YOU.

To our fellow Nerd Herders around the Bay Area and the world, and all those who work to bring fun educational programs to the masses, THANK YOU for your partnership, your ideas, your commiseration, and your inspiration.
To our past speakers … what can we say? To continue the nautical theme: We’d have been sunk without you. In fact, you are the precious cargo that the tugboat NNSF pulls around. THANK YOU.

See you at future NNSF shows—we’ll be the ones WOO-ing the loudest. And please stay in touch: and .
Love,
Bart and Lucy (NNSF co-captains, ret.)


More Lockpicking Workshops w/ Lockpick Extreme

Bob & Christine from Lockpick Extreme gave a great Nerd Nite talk about handcuffs, the art of not being handcuffed, and training ravens to open locked boxes. Well, good news! If a raven can learn to open locks, you can, too!

We’re thrilled to team up and bring you this live, interactive workshop where you will learn the theory and practice of lockpicking.

Because our first program sold out immediately, we put together two more dates:

We’ll send you a kit including locks and picks that are yours to keep. All you need to do is bring your enthusiasm, have a webcam & mic, and join the virtual workshop (beers and/or ravens optional).

The workshop requires no previous experience in lockpicking and a majority of participants leave being able to open the equivalent of a standard front door house lock. Class size is limited to ensure all participants can receive one-on-one instruction and guidance.

Date: Tues 9/8 or Thurs 9/10, 2020
Place: The Interwebs. A Zoom link will be sent to you.
Time: 7pm PDT. 

Important Details:

This purchase includes access to the remote workshop as well as your selection of either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

For this session, you’ll need to purchase either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

A webcam and microphone are required for participation. We understand that some may be shy to show their face or surroundings.

To provide you with the best experience and feedback to grow your lockpicking skills, it is best if we can see what you are doing. If you would prefer, we suggest setting up your camera in a way that only shows your hands so we can still provide you with picking guidance.

After you purchase this item, you will be contacted via the email used at checkout about details on how to join the workshop event.

Shipping is limited to U.S. domestic addresses. (Sorry, we are unable to ship to AFO/FPO addresses.)

Ticket sales end August 25th so don’t delay!

Lockpicking Workshop w/ Lockpick Extreme & Nerd Nite

Bob & Christine from Lockpick Extreme gave a great Nerd Nite talk about handcuffs, the art of not being handcuffed, and training ravens to open locked boxes. Well, good news! If a raven can learn to open locks, you can, too!

We’re thrilled to team up and bring you this live, interactive workshop where you will learn the theory and practice of lockpicking.

Weds Aug. 19, 7pm
Get your tickets here!
Sales end Aug. 5th

We’ll send you a kit including locks and picks that are yours to keep. All you need to do is bring your enthusiasm, have a webcam & mic, and join the virtual workshop (beers and/or ravens optional).

The workshop requires no previous experience in lockpicking and a majority of participants leave being able to open the equivalent of a standard front door house lock. Class size is limited to ensure all participants can receive one-on-one instruction and guidance.

Date: Wednesday, August 19th, 2020, 7pm
Place: The Interwebs. A Zoom link will be sent to you.
Time: 7pm PDT. 

Important Details:

This purchase includes access to the remote workshop as well as your selection of either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

For this session, you’ll need to purchase either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

A webcam and microphone are required for participation. We understand that some may be shy to show their face or surroundings.

To provide you with the best experience and feedback to grow your lockpicking skills, it is best if we can see what you are doing. If you would prefer, we suggest setting up your camera in a way that only shows your hands so we can still provide you with picking guidance.

After you purchase this item, you will be contacted via the email used at checkout about details on how to join the workshop event.

Shipping is limited to U.S. domestic addresses. (Sorry, we are unable to ship to AFO/FPO addresses.)

Ticket sales end August 5th so don’t delay!

Nerd Nite SF #117: Baroque, Bones, and Badasses!

Nerd Nite SF #117: Baroque, Bones, and Badasses!Wednesday, 2/19/2020
Doors at 7pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$10, all ages
(For $50, you also get a Western Neighborhoods Project membership, with exclusive and discount access to WNP’s excellent programs, the Outside Lands magazine, and support for a wonderful institution!)
Tickets here

At this month’s show, we go for baroque, bone up on a bone collector, and blow the lid off an incredible open source archive during a very special evening curated by our friends, stalwart stockpilers and disseminators of San Francisco history–the Western Neighborhoods Project! As always, we’ll bring the drinks, eats, music, and learning, and you bring the curious. Be there and be square!

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“Baroque Music, the Jazz of the 18th Century” by Daniel Deitch

Songs are written precisely on sheet music, and that’s exactly how they are meant to be played. Right? No! In the Baroque era, music was alive with improvisation–extemporaneous counterpoints over a cantus firmus, embellished melodies over ostinato chord patterns, and basso continuo, among other delights. But the industrial revolution destroyed this ancient art. Improvisation would have to wait until the 20th century to be reborn as jazz in western music.

Daniel is a professional musician and woodwind instrument repair person. He plays woodwind instruments in their modern and early forms as well as viola da gamba and cello. He’s run a woodwind repair shop on Clement Street for 25 years and performs in at least five historically informed orchestras and chamber groups.

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“Skeletons in the Closet” by Lindsay Palaima

Should you ever receive an invite to visit “The Bone Palace,” some trepidation would be understandable! But in this case, you are being invited to admire an incredible collection of osteological specimens assembled over a lifetime and stored in a basement. Hear about late San Franciscan Ray “Bones” Bandar and the legacy of his collection of more than 7,000 skulls.

Lindsay is a marine mammal enthusiast and museum wonk, and works as a collections registrar at the California Academy of Sciences, a nonprofit natural history museum and aquarium in Golden Gate Park.

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“Tales of San Francisco” by Western Neighborhoods Project

Badass teenagers, a future crusader, movable buildings, and marginal details–these are just some of WNP’s favorite stories that have emerged from the OpenSFHistory project, which has digitized and published nearly 50,000 photos of SF from the 1850s through the 1990s and pinned them to an interactive map that you can search and explore. (Go on! Look up your neighborhood. We’ll wait!) Discover some amazing San Franciscans and learn what goes into researching and building this open source historical archive.

David Gallagher is co-founder of the Western Neighborhoods Project, a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit that preserves, interprets, and shares the history of SF’s west side. Nicole Meldahl is the executive director of WNP as well as an archivist, public historian, and award-winning journalist who has lived and worked in SF since 2002. Together they launched OpenSFHistory, which, according to server data, a lot of people have spent a lot of time on when they’re supposed to be working.

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With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match our presenters’ themes. Follow the set list on Twitter @djalphabravo Tremendous thanks to the Western Neighborhoods Project for guest-curating this program!

Food: And delicious bao from Cross Hatch Eatery.

NNSF #116: Bacterial Friends, Exploding Stars, and WW2 Botany!

NNSF #116: Bacterial Friends, Exploding Stars, and WW2 Botany!

Press the space bar on your Dry January and come join us for boozy lectures, DJ Alpha Bravo, a full bar, and delicious eats. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 1/15/2020
Doors at 7pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$10, all ages
Tickets here

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“How to Win Friends and Influence Bacteria” with Sarah Richardson

Bacteria run this planet. We humans are brash, crass, and tacky pretenders to the throne. If we don’t start learning and collaborating with bacteria instead of ignoring or controlling them, they’re definitely going to snigger at us as we crash on past them into extinction. We’ve made some mistakes (NEVER go full petroleum!), but what up-and-coming species hasn’t? There’s still time to correct: we just need to borrow a trick from cows. We should form a direct democracy of microbes and people. After all, we’re all biomass.

A “germ wrangler”, aka a computational and molecular biologist, Dr. Richardson specializes in genomes and is the CEO of MicroByre, taming bacteria for biomanufacturing.

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“Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe” by Dr. Jeffrey Silverman

Some of the most energetic and fascinating objects in the Universe are exploding stars known as supernova. These colossal outbursts result from the deaths of stars and for a time can outshine the entire galaxy in which they’re found. Elements necessary for life are built up in stars during their lifetimes and are spread throughout space during these supernova explosions. Observations of distant supernova provided the first evidence that the expansion of the Universe is speeding up with time, rather than slowing down. This wholly unexpected phenomenon is likely due to a repulsive “dark energy” and has become one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in modern science.

Jeffrey Silverman is Director, Data Science & Analytics at Samba TV where he uses Big Data to, among other things, figure out exactly how many people watched Game of Thrones. Before tech, he earned his PhD at UC Berkeley working on supernovae and dark energy with Prof. Alex Filippenko.

(Jeffrey is also the co-host of Big Screen Science, a monthly movie showing followed by a science presentation at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in SF, that we highly recommend!)

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“The Botanists’ War” by Bart Bernhardt

Commando raids, political intrigue, heroic sacrifices, tragic deaths, and… plant science? This is the tale of two scientists–one Nazi, one Soviet–who sought to transform agriculture and save millions of people from suffering, and whose research and lives became strangely intertwined during World War II.

Bart is a co-organizer of Nerd Nite SF and is fascinated by great assholes in science history, of which there are some in this story.

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With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the set list on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Food: Grilled Cheese Guy, the master of the grilled cheese sandwich, returns!